Fishing With Jay: Shark Bite Capital Creds

Jay, the locals and the sharks play a game of Even Steven. Sometimes the sharks win and tattoos aren’t the only frown/smile showing up on arms and legs. Locals rule the New Smyrna Beach surf zone. Blacktips and bulls and lemons—oh my! What’s Going Down In This Sharky Town. On this episode of Fishing With Jay we end up dogging the man in the grey flannel suit.

Spend enough time on the water and you’ll hear the phrase “locals only,” and in New Smyrna Beach, FL that term comes with more “bite” than bark, as we visit Florida’s self-proclaimed “Shark Capital of the World.” While hanging at Bajio HQ, Jay shares his time and passions with local watermen (and women) as he engages this tribe that lives for the water.

Averaging 15 to 20 shark bites per year, NSB has quickly become known as the place to go to get a frown/smile scar on your calf. The onus is that the majority of bites are not from maneaters that can take a leg with the shake of their head, but small sharks that take umbrage when stepped or flopped on by falling surfers and thus issue a reactionary bite.

Live here long enough, and you become immune to the hype and view your time on a wave as a game of shark pinball where you pay attention to your exit at the end of a ride. While it’s easy to be cavalier about getting gnawed on when it hasn’t happened to you, there’s plenty of locals willing to share their experiences and the deep respect they have for shark avoidance theory.

“Most of the locals view the odds of getting bit by a shark as something that you don’t control so there’s no sense in worrying about it,” says Jay. “They look at it like a lawn mower randomly throwing a rock. If it’s got your name on it, there’s not much you can do to avoid getting hit.”